Learn how to make quark and fun recipes to use this delicious ingredient in new favorite German recipes and ideas.
What is Quark?
Quark is a soft cheese found throughout Germany and parts of eastern Europe. The texture and appearance resembles a thick yogurt or even sour cream and it’s used in cooking, baking, cold salads, spreading on toast and more!
What does Quark taste like?
The flavor is exceptionally mild. It’s not tangy and sour like yogurt or sour cream although it resembles them both. It creamy, silky on the palate and fresh tasting.
Where do you find quark?
In Germany, quark is widely available at just about every grocery store and even some convenient stores. When I lived in Turkey, I found it at large chain grocery stores like Migros but in limited varieties and sometimes, flavored quark in the way that you would find flavored yogurt. But the quark in Germany is quite different and delicious.
How do you make Quark?
Most of my German friends and extended family actually don’t make quark because they live in Germany and there is no need to make it. But they explained how to make quark like this:
How to Make Quark:
1.) Pour milk into a bowl or large container and leave out on the countertop, lightly covered overnight, or up to 16 hours.
2.) Pour milk into a sauce pot and heat over medium low until the milk reaches about 120 to 130 degrees, stirring occasionally.
3.) Allow it to cool, for about 30 minutes or until you see the curds separate from the whey and the milk is no longer steaming. Then pour it into a cheese cloth lined colander.
4.) Bundle up the sides of the cheese cloth and twist it together to form a pouch. Place in the colander and allow it to continue to drain at room temperature, overnight.
5.) Remove quark from cheese cloth and put in a storage container. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and enjoy.
To speed up the process, add some lemon juice, about a tablespoon per 2 cups, to help the milk “sour” faster.
NOTE: Don’t use UHT or Ultra Pasteurized milk. I’ve found that they do not work well for this process.
NOTE: This process happens faster in warm temperatures. I made quark in the middle of a hot Israeli summer and the milk was pretty thick in less than 12 hours, so take your climate and temperature of your home into consideration.
Popular German Recipes that Use Quark
Some of my favorite German recipes use quark including:
1.) Kasekuchen (German cheesecake with quark)
2.) Russicher Zupfkuchen (German cheesecake with chocolate crust and chocolate topping)
3.) Cucumber Salad – a refreshing cucumber salad with thinly sliced cucumbers, dill, lemon juice, quark, salt and pepper.
4.) Quark on toast with honey – Spread quark on a piece of toast, drizzle with honey and enjoy!